What kind of crowds should I expect the last week of July and how should I arrange my touring so I miss the worst of it? I have two and half days and want to see the three stars and more if possible! Also, has anyone ever stayed at Grand Hotel Praha in Old Towne?
I agree with the above post. It will be crowded, especially the old town square area and Charles Bridge. If you are a morning person and don't want to deal with the crowds, early morning in those two areas is best, especially the bridge. I liked them best around 8am. The other sights in Prague were crowded, too, but the crowds seem more manageable in other areas.
What about staying at a hotel right on the square? It kind of appeals to me to see the clock from my window but I am reluctant to stay at a hotel the Rick Steveis doesn't suggest....
If you are using the strategy of getting up early, noise on the square could keep you up late. Noisy revelers may roam other streets, of course, but I think staying right on the main square would be more of an exercise in people watching than clock watching. At any hotel, you might request a "quieter" room, which will be the opposite of a view room.